MINISTER for Sport and 2015 Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko is confident that Papua New Guinea will host all their 2017 World Cup rugby league pool matches in-country.
He said this will likely include a match with the touring England team that will be heading to Australia and England prior to the World Cup.
The Moresby South MP announced this during his end-of-year engagement to thank all key stakeholders and the local media for their support this year at the Ela Beach Hotel, Port Moresby, on Friday.
He said there were “some doubters” earlier on, but with all systems go he predicts brighter lights at the end of the tunnel.
He said with Port Moresby on track to build three world standard stadiums by March 2015, the scene is set to host world class matches.
“Two will have seating capacity for 20,000 and the other for 15,000,” he added.
Tkatchenko confirmed that the massive K171 million building of the iconic Lloyd Robson Stadium (previously oval) is on track for the ground breaking ceremony on January 14.
He said everything is all positive with the head of the trustees Peter Botten working closely with the Port Moresby Rugby League management to build the new national stadium for PNG.
“This will be an unbelievable construction and infrastructure development for the country, the new national stadium will be centered around rugby league of course for local and international matches,” he added.
He said he was buoyed with a recent meeting he had with PNG Sports Foundation chairman Graham Osborne, PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka with the head of the World Cup organising committee in London.
Tkatchenko said the 2017 World Cup objective is to be based out of Australia, the New Zealand pool will be played in New Zealand and PNG in Port Moresby, and the finals back in Australia.
“The English will be coming this way on world tour and want to come to PNG to play as well,” he added.
“Despite some hiccups along the way, I am more confident now that with the continued support from the National Government, the business community and all stakeholders involved PNG will be the hub for international sports in our region from 2015 and beyond,” he said.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36